Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sleepless in Singapore

I'm back in Singapore for work and it's a good thing all of us (me, Sweetie and Miguel) are busy. We haven't had the time to be sad about being apart. I must admit though I was messing up a bit at the airport the other day while waiting to board my flight. Good thing I bumped into one of my Mom's friends who was also bound for Singapore.

I grew up with a lot of "aunts" because my Mom had a lot of friends and they like hanging out at our home. Tita Maris, who I always thought looks like an angel, was the perfect companion for me that day. She's very chatty like my Mom and shared to me that she and her husband has been commuting to and fro the Philippines and wherever he was assigned for many years now. That kinda reassured me that things would be okay and that my family will survive from my move. Singapore anyway is just 3 hours away from Manila and there are a lot of inexpensive flights (now I have to watch out for those piso fare promos!).

I've been in Singapore for a couple of days now and I gave myself  three challenges. One, I have to spend no more than SG$10 per day for food and anything else I want to buy. I'm lucky though because I don't have to worry about breakfast and lunch, so I just need to scout for dinner. I ruled out cooking for myself when I realized that the ingredients here are way too expensive. But I still want to cook because I know I would start craving for a home-cooked meal. My second challenge is to find stores where I could buy inexpensive items. My last challenge to myself is not to buy anything not needed, I have to survive on the resources that I have for now (until my boxes arrive!).

I'm happy to share that I have so far been meeting expectations and have discovered quite a few things in the past few days.

(1) If there's no hawker's center near your place, the malls may have a hidden food court either at their basement or at the top floor. A complete meal usually just costs $5 to 6. Skip the beverage coz it's expensive.

(2) My workplace is near Lau Pa Sat and a friend told me that Tapa King has a branch there. I almost cried when I saw it (sorry emo much!) because I was really hungry that time and I wanted Filipino food.

(3) A couple of friends and colleagues told me that the humanized (makataong!) groceries/supermarkets are outside the city and I should check out Value $, NTUC and Sheng Siong. I'm glad that all their branches are mapped! Also discovered "Katipunan" at Lau Pa Sat. It's a small grocery selling all-Filipino items! I bought 3 important items -- suka, toyo and Jufran banana ketchup. I almost hugged the cashier earlier when I paid for the items. Haha.

We take a lot of things for granted when we are home. I realized that aside from your loved ones you'd also look for things you can't live without and being Filipino, local cuisine is something you'd really long for. I know there's a lot of stuff at Lucky Plaza, but I'm staying away for now because I think I'll end up buying a lot of stuff there. I hope to stick to buying Filipino grocery items though so I can help the economy back home too.

And yes, I've been sleepless the past few days because I'm used to having my boys around.



  1. Wow! That $10 a day sounds really challenging, especially in a place like SG. Then again, I find it challenging any time there is budgeting involved. Good luck!

  2. @Ryan I'm good at budgeting and so far I only spend an average of $6 for dinner :)

  3. Hi, you mentioned that you were waiting for your boxes to arrive. May I please ask how you shipped them over to Singapore? We're currently trying to figure out the cheapest way to a few balikbayan boxes there. Thanks!

  4. @Nicole my relocation specialist took care of it. They used Carepak Movers to help me move.